New for this week – coming to the Natural World near you.

So, what has happened in the last 7 days or so?  It would appear to be quite a lot, other than a rather exciting ash cloud that has managed to reduce the carbon output of Europe and leave all those planes on the ground.

Firstly, or rather lastly, on Saturday I first heard, and then saw, my first housemartin of the year.  They were fairly high up and did not stick around for long, so I think they may have been on their way to elsewhere rather than birds returning to hang about in Dav.

I saw the housemartin whilst sitting in the garden watching bees.  You may have noticed that there is a lot of blossom about at the moment, not only is the blackthorn still flowering, but there are cherry blossoms on almost every housing estate, and, along with the blossom there are the associated bees.  The main attraction in our garden at the moment as far as bees are concerned is the blue Pulmonaria Trevi Fountain as evidenced by cette photo la, with rather lovely bumblebee attached.  Also out in numbers this week have been the native two and seven spot ladybirds, as yet though, there are no harlequins that I have seen.

In terms of wild flowers that are out at the moment, one of my favourites is the forget-me-not.  James calls these devil flowers, because they self seed everywhere.  Indeed the one in the picture found its own way into the front garden.  Has anyone ever planted a forget-me-not, or do they ‘just appear’?

On the garden front, I am pleased to report that the gooseberry has loads of flower buds on.  I am hoping that the sawfly don’t find where we’ve hidden it and that our huge rosemary will help disguise it – fingers crossed!  I have also planted my courgette seeds and french bean seeds, ready for planting out in a couple of months.